Bottle-feeding may raise baby's risk for intestinal trouble

September 3, 2012 by Steven Reinberg, Healthday Reporter
Bottle-feeding may raise baby's risk for intestinal trouble
Study found chances for serious condition called pyloric stenosis increased by almost 5 times.

(HealthDay)—Infants who are bottle-fed face a higher risk of developing a serious intestinal condition that can lead to surgery, Danish researchers report.

With pyloric stenosis, the lower part of the baby's stomach narrows and restricts the amount of food the infant gets, and results in forceful , and salt and fluid imbalances. The reason it develops is unknown, but bottle-feeding has been suggested as a possible risk factor, the study authors noted.

"Bottle-feeding is a rather strong risk factor for pyloric stenosis, and this adds to the evidence supporting the advantage of exclusive breast-feeding in the first months of life," said lead researcher Dr. Camilla Krogh, from the department of epidemiology research at the Statens Institute in Copenhagen.

Pyloric stenosis is a severe and potentially fatal condition, Krogh added. "It is the most common cause of gastrointestinal obstruction in , and the most common condition requiring surgery in the first months of life," she explained.

"Although treatment of pyloric stenosis has been known for almost 100 years, its etiology [cause] remains unclear. The results of this study contributes with new insight into the etiology of pyloric stenosis and brings us closer to solving the enigma of pyloric stenosis development," Krogh added.

The report was published online Sept. 3 and in the October print issue of .

To look at the connection between bottle-feeding and pyloric stenosis, Krogh's group used data on more than 70,000 infants to identify 65 who had to have surgery for pyloric stenosis. Of these infants, 29 had been bottle-fed.

The researchers found bottle-feeding increased the odds of developing pyloric stenosis 4.6-fold.

Moreover, the risk was seen even when the baby was breast-fed before being bottle-fed and it started within 30 days after bottle-feeding began, they noted.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Jesse Reeves-Garcia, director of pediatric gastroenterology at Miami Children's Hospital, said that "there is a lot not known about this disease."

Although this finding only shows an association between bottle-feeding and pyloric stenosis, and not a cause-and-effect link, it suggests that breast milk is protective against this disease, he added.

"Breast-feeding is really best for the kids," Reeves-Garcia said. "Breast milk has a lot of things formula doesn't have."

Explore further: Australian study links breast milk to nut allergies

More information: For more information on pyloric stenosis, visit the Nemours Foundation.

Related Stories

Australian study links breast milk to nut allergies

July 12, 2012
Children who are solely breast-fed in the first six months of life are at increased risk of developing a nut allergy, new research showed Thursday.

Breastfeeding linked to infant temperament

January 11, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- New evidence from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit, in Cambridge, suggests that breastfed babies may be more irritable than their bottle-fed counterparts.

Recommended for you

Small drop in measles vaccinations would have outsized effect, study estimates

July 24, 2017
Small reductions in childhood measles vaccinations in the United States would produce disproportionately large increases in the number of measles cases and in related public health costs, according to a new study by researchers ...

At the cellular level, a child's loss of a father is associated with increased stress

July 18, 2017
The absence of a father—due to incarceration, death, separation or divorce—has adverse physical and behavioral consequences for a growing child. But little is known about the biological processes that underlie this link ...

New comparison chart sheds light on babies' tears

July 10, 2017
A chart that enables parents and clinicians to calculate if a baby is crying more than it should in the first three months of its life has been created by a Kingston University London researcher, following a study of colic ...

Blood of SIDS infants contains high levels of serotonin

July 3, 2017
Blood samples from infants who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) had high levels of serotonin, a chemical that carries signals along and between nerves, according to a study funded in part by the National Institutes ...

Is your child's 'penicillin allergy' real?

July 3, 2017
(HealthDay)—Many children suspected of being allergic to the inexpensive, first-line antibiotic penicillin actually aren't, new research indicates.

Probiotic supplements failed to prevent babies' infections

July 3, 2017
(HealthDay)—Probiotic supplements may not protect babies from catching colds or stomach bugs in day care, a new clinical trial suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.